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Weekly Roundup: A real hoverbike, Lionsgate on Steam and shooting food like a pro

Our weekly roundup of the top news stories in the world of tech for the week beginning April 24th, 2016.

Colin Furze completed his hoverbike

Over the past month, inventor Colin Furze has been working on a new mode of transportation as part of Ford’s #Unlearn Mobility campaign. Furze waded through some 12,000 suggestions and set about making a flying machine.

Cut to the end of the month and on Thursday, the self-taught engineer published a video to his YouTube channel showcasing a completed hoverbike; which consisted of two paramotors, a curved metal frame, fuel tank, two accelerators and no brakes – sounds perfectly safe. Needless to say, Furze achieved his goal of making a working hoverbike, even if you can’t steer it. Check out the video above to see it in action, his YouTube channel for more on the development of the project and additional info on this story over on Recombu Cars – here.

Lionsgate releases over 100 films on Steam

You might be familiar with Valve’s Steam platform, but not for the reasons we’re talking about here. Steam has cemented itself as the place to browse, purchase and play games on PC, but a sideline that started out by offering video game-related videos (everything from how-tos to documentaries on the industry) is fast expanding to become a fully-fledged video rental streaming service.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

The most recent development sees Lionsgate add over 100 films from its back catalogue onto Steam, with everything from notable quadrilogies/tetralogies/quartets such as The Hunger Games and Leprechaun movies, to classics like American Psycho and The Blair Witch Project. Most of these titles aren’t yet available to Steam users in the UK, but as the Lionsgate is calling this a worldwide partnership, we’re hoping that changes soon enough.

Most individual films cost £3.99 to stream, with a 48-hour rental window following 30 days from payment. You can find out more here.

Instagram finally leaves beta on Windows Phone

Yesterday Microsoft announced a significant milestone for fans of social photo-sharing app, Instagram. The service, which has been in beta since it landed on the platform way back in 2013, is finally going official.

Instagram on Windows 10 Mobile

The Windows 10 Mobile-compatible beta version of the app launched in March this year, but on Thursday, the company confirmed that it the completed version launched on Thursday. In addition, desktop clients for Facebook and Facebook Messenger are also making their way to Windows 10. You can pick Instagram up from the Windows Store for free, here and find out more here.

Professional Sony photographers tell us how to shoot food right

With the winning images from the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, set to be exhibited at Somerset House from April 24th (until May 10th), Sony pulled in professional food photographer, Hugh Johnson, who revealed some tips and tricks on how to capture some truly tasty-looking photos.

If you’re looking to take your #Foodstagram game to the next level, take heed of the pointers Johnson and fellow SWPA photographers have on the subject:

  • Make sure you keep things simple! The biggest mistake professionals and amateurs make is over complicating a shot with too much cutlery or accessories.
  • Shoot the food at the widest aperture possible. This is when the hole within the lens is at its widest so more light can travel through. By doing this you will soften the background of the shot to give you that pin-sharp focus on the food.
  • Speed is key. Make sure you take a picture of the food quickly to capture its freshness and natural glossy highlights. Spraying water is also a great way to spruce up your food if it looks a bit flat
  • Keep your elbows tucked into your body when taking a photo to keep the camera steady and to minimise distortion.
  • Don’t be afraid to change the placement and the look of the food – for example, meat may look better cut in half to show its pink interior and interesting textures.

The above images were taken using the full-frame, palm-sized interchangeable lens Sony α7R II camera at Searcys at The Gherkin. Find out more here.

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